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Modesty and Other Standards
(Used by permission. Taken from her book “Jewelry, Ornaments, Personal Decoration and More… – the Spiritualism Connection.“)
The streets of New York City with its hustle, bustle, bright lights and millions of people was the place to be. “How exciting!” I would think to myself as I hurried from one appointment to another, swinging my portfolio. “You can look, but don’t touch!” That was my motto. As a model in the fashion capital of the world, dressing up or down was highly competitive.
In those days I wore micro mini-skirts, pants and form-fitting sweaters, low-cuts, shorts, and anything else I wanted. I knew the power of a fashionable and well-dressed woman, and I wanted to use that power to help me climb the show-business ladder.
Models set the standard for what most women call “beauty.” On TV, in magazines, newspapers, shows, etc., they are used to set the styles. Anyone can put clothes on, but models must put it all together to impress, attract, and alarm the senses. They must sell clothes and themselves, and there I was, right in the middle of it all.
And I loved my shoes! Every time I bought a new dress I had to buy a new pair of shoes. My heart would actually speed up with excitement from just looking at a pair of fancy shoes. I just knew they were made for me—just my style! I would deny myself food, if necessary, to buy what I wanted to dress up or down.
My manicure and pedicure was always done to perfection. In order to keep up with my “beauty,” I had jars, bottles, and tubes of all sorts of concoctions. Between facial masques, moisturizers, toners, foundations, eye-shadow, pencil liner and brush, lipstick and lip gloss, body powder and face powder, perfume, polish for nails, polish remover, files, expensive hairdos, false eyelashes, leg shaving paraphernalia, etc., etc., I spent hundreds of dollars just to keep myself “together.”
“Make-up” was an extremely important factor in my “so- called” beauty. I really loved the way make-up made me look. It was supposed to make me feel secure and good about myself. But it made my feeling of insecurity worse. Do you think I would be caught without it? No way! I never even took off my make-up at night. I didn’t want to face the naked truth of what I really looked like without it. I would wash my face in the morning and quickly re-apply “my face.” How pitiful! I wasted so much time and money trying to be beautiful on the outside. The “girly-glamour” magazines had captured and distorted my view of virtuous womanhood, beauty, and femininity.
Dressing up was not complete without my jewelry. Those precious little trinkets and ornaments of gold and silver made any outfit look exquisite. My jewelry box overflowed with all kinds of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and rings. To be honest, I worshiped jewelry! I felt naked without it—and besides, it made me look good whether I dressed up or down!
Always in the mirror—checking this and checking that— everything had to be just perfect. My everyday ritual of pampering and primping took about two hours before I was ready to face the public. When I emerged to meet the public eye, I would get those whistles, cat calls and turnaround looks from men. I would appear not to hear or even see them. My motto was, “Look, but don’t touch!”
You know it never once occurred to me that I might be tempting and teasing a man. Once at a dance, a perfect stranger touched me inappropriately. I was so angry! I couldn’t figure out why this man would not just look, but touch!
The first argument I had with my husband, Rick (before we were married), was over the mini skirts and low cuts I wore. I flatly told him, if he didn’t like it, “find someone else.” And I meant it. I had no intention of changing, and he never brought up that subject again. Nobody was changing me! And besides—change to what? I only knew one way— my way of dressing up or down.
Then, I met Jesus. This was like a miracle. Everything I ever wanted in life—love, acceptance, security and peace of mind, I found in Jesus! I did not have to change for Jesus, but His love changed me! I did not know I could have a personal experience with my Savior. I did not know He loved me so much—as if I were the only one in the whole wide world. I did not know Jesus was soon coming back to this earth again.
When I learned this, no one had to tell me, “Take off your make-up, jewelry, and immodest clothes.” When I looked in the mirror after I surrendered my life to Jesus, I didn’t look the same. What I thought was so beautiful looked ugly, phony, pretentious and proud!
No one had to tell me jewelry was inappropriate for the humble follower of Jesus. When I read those Bible texts on jewelry, I began shedding all my little precious idols—from head to toe. What a relief! Nothing between my Savior and me.
No one had to tell me to get rid of my mini-skirts, pants, and low cuts. One day I packed them all up and took them to the local thrift store. Why? Because I knew Jesus would not like them, and I wanted to do everything to please the One who saved me from death and self-destruction. I had to ask the Lord to forgive me, because I knew I had caused many a man to sin in his heart because of the way I dressed.
And no more nakedness for me in the name of water, sun and fun! That “colored underwear” that I used to wear to the beach, all of a sudden became “strange apparel.” No longer could I hide behind the excuse of getting exercise and recreation.
Now I know God made man with a completely different sexual nature from that of a woman. Unconverted man’s sexual nature is so sensitive that it can be ignited into a fire by just the sight of a half-dressed or seductively dressed female. Provocative clothing such as the peek-a-boo dress, the short, slit, or tight skirt, the low-cut blouse, stocking legs, form fitting sweaters, pants or jeans—all distract the minds of most men to unholy thoughts. The indulgent apparel could mean the loss of eternal life to not just one man—but a whole host of them.
Before, I was dressing to bring attention to myself. Now, I only want to hide behind Jesus. Before, I wasted hundreds of dollars and hours of precious probationary time trying to make myself beautiful by the world’s standard. Now, I spend those hours in the study of God’s word and in prayer. I realize now that beauty is a Christ-like character.
Before, I loved dressing up or down—or showing off fine clothes from my already overflowing closet. Before, I kept pace with the ever-changing fashions. Now, I measure my wardrobe by God’s Word. Before, I was insecure; I wouldn’t let anyone see me without my “make-up.” Now, I am plain, placid, and pleased to be a child of the King. Now, I feel secure because I know Jesus loves me just the way I am, and this gives me courage to share this message of truth to all who will listen.
With my burdens lifted and my idols torn down, what peace—sweet peace I enjoy! That was over twenty-five years ago. I still like to dress up—only in Christ’s beautiful robe of righteousness—and down—with everything that displeases Him.
Your friend, Gwen
God’s Standard of Modesty Song
1. Throughout the span of history
God’s women have obeyed
The holy standard He set forth
With modesty arrayed.
The long and flowing garment worn
Preserves men’s purity
Subduing women’s prideful ways
And brings humility.
2. But in the last 100 years
The fashions vastly changed
With skimpy garments baring flesh
The women who profess to love
The coming of the Lord
Have been allured by fashions trends
And feel the pull toward.
3. The devil plans these worldly styles
For fashion makes us vain.
But God is calling us to wear
Attire chaste and plain.
The Holy Spirit calls the church
To raise the standard high
To give a witness to the world
That carnal self must die.
4. The church has wandered many years
In sad apostasy.
The fashions of the world must be
Exchanged for modesty.
Though death has stilled the faithful voice
Of God’s dear prophetess
Her writings still show forth God’s truth
And teach us how to dress.
5. God’s last day church must now arise—
A message we must bear.
It’s more than words we’re called to give
We preach by what we wear.
This sin-sick world is looking for
A cure for crime and pain.
Our testimony will ring true
When Christ supreme does reign.
6. The blessed Saviour led the way—
A living sacrifice.
He bids us flee all sinful snares
And conquer every vice.
The onslaught of the world is strong
But victory is sure
For those who willingly repent
And in His strength endure.
Words by Linda Kirk
To be sung to the melodies:
There is a Fountain, page 336 (New SDA Hymnal)
I Sing the Mighty Power of God page 88 (New SDA Hymnal)
O Beautiful For Spacious Skies (OLD SDA Hymnal page 503)
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